The investment will fund the salaries of 100 clinical research coordinators (CRCs) over the next five years, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH). Additionally, it will also pay for national training and certification programs via the new Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI) Academy.
“The SCRI Academy is set up to provide training for the CRCs,” Yee Leong, CEO of SCRI told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. The level one program, which Leong said starts Q1 2018, will be for new CRCs with less than one year of experience.
“The reason why [the] government is funding the CRCs salary and training is … to provide better clinical trials support to the researchers and [because] clinical trials are getting more complex,” explained Leong.
Leong also noted the number of clinical trials in the region has almost doubled in the past 15 to 20 years.
Research coordinator development
Developing – and retaining – clinical researchers or clinical research associates (CRAs) is a global issue across the industry.
Contract research organizations (CROs), such as PPD, and other groups, including the Associated of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP), have launched different initiatives to address shortages and high turnover rates.
According to IAOCR, there is a severe entry-level CRA deficit. "Not enough people are selecting this career path," Jacqueline Johnson North, CEO of IAOCR previously told us. "An experienced CRA is a valuable commodity and highly sought-after."